Thrombotic complications are increasing at a steady and significant rate in children resulting in the more widespread use of anticoagulation in this population. Anticoagulant drugs in children can be divided into the standard agents (heparin, low molecular weight heparin, and vitamin K antagonists) and alternative agents (argatroban, bivalirudin, and fondaparinux). This review will compare and contrast the standard and alternative anticoagulants and suggest situations in which it may be appropriate to use argatroban, bivalirudin, and fondaparinux. Clearly, the standard anticoagulants all have significant shortcomings including variable pharmacokinetics, issues with therapeutic drug monitoring, frequency of administration, efficacy, and adverse effects. The alternative anticoagulants have properties which overcome these shortcomings and prospective clinical trial data are presented supporting the current and future use of these agents in place of the standard anticoagulants.

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Blood Cells, Molecules and Diseases

Young, G. (Guy), Male, C., & van Ommen, H. (2017). Anticoagulation in children: Making the most of little patients and little evidence. Blood Cells, Molecules and Diseases, 67, 48–53. doi:10.1016/j.bcmd.2017.05.003